Your story is your gold, and it has the power to change the lives of others.
We know this is true because we've all experienced the power of a story that touched us and left us forever changed.
As our world continues to confound and surprise us, we seem to crave stories more and more to make sense of our lives. Just think about how many people we have the capability of connecting with on a daily basis through social media, and how we long to find true, real connection with one another.
As a coach, whether you coach one-on-one or work in group coaching, or use coaching techniques in your current full time job or are just exploring the early stages of becoming a coach, it's essential to understand the impact your story can have on others.
Many brands and businesses use storytelling to connect more deeply with their prospective clients. As a life coach, you can do this too. But if you think it’s all for business purposes, think again. Many people today choose to share their stories as a way to build bridges, to connect with other on a deeper level, to discover that we're not alone. It’s also a very effective tool to reconnect with yourself and learn more about who you are, by sharing your story with others. We believe so much in the power of unlocking your story and sharing with others that it’s something we highlight in our life coach training program.
Why Share Your Story?
Helps you find your authentic voice
As a coach, it is vital to develop a strong voice, and one that is wholly your own. If you’ve ever asked what is a brand narrative, this is part of it. Having your own voice reflects in your business, and helps you connect with clients who are drawn to your story and experiences, but it’s not that easy.
There are many reasons for us to forget our own voice. It can vary from a tragic life event. to being influenced by many different people, perhaps even being told that our experiences don't matter. We're often our own worst critics, silencing and shutting down our voice before we ever get a chance to speak up.
The more you keep telling your story, the easier it will be to find your voice. The easier it is to get to know yourself better. And this is one great way to reconnect with yourself again. Because storytelling isn’t just about business. It’s also about personal development.
Build empathy for others
Sharing makes you a more open person, more empathetic and more connected to the world -- an essential quality of being a coach!
Finding your own authentic voice will help you to remember that each person in the world is a unique indivdual who has lived through experiences beyond those we can imagine. By telling our story, and listening to the stories we are told, people become closer, more finely detailed, instead of existing in an abstract way.
Courage is something many people want, but only a few people have. Of course it's okay to lose courage every now and then. Sometimes, life puts us in situations we think we cannot handle and we drown in self-doubt. Next thing we know, we forgot how to be courageous again. It happens. It’s normal.
But also, it’s the very reason why we need to practice storytelling. It is an exercise that will help us develop courage as well as grit and resilience. Imagine you’re working on your life coach training when you realize you’re scared of being vulnerable and showing the real you to other people.
How can you be an effective coach towards others? That said, utilizing storytelling to develop courage can be of great help. Because the more you gently share your own story and experiences you’re scared to tell, the more you keep telling it despite the fear, the easier it will get.
Reconnect and heal
Reconnecting with yourself and healing go hand in hand. Life can be tough, which is why life coaches provide such an essential and necessary service. As a coach yourself, it’s your responsibility to ensure you are taking that journey to reconnection and healing. No coach is perfect. Even we have our own bad days and troubling memories. But when you begin to tell your story - no matter how vulnerable it may feel, the easier it will be to become vulnerable to others. Yes, that includes potential clients. And if you think this is going to turn clients away, it almost always does the opposite. People are drawn to truth. Healing takes time but we must do it for ourselves, business-aside.
What’s Stopping You from Sharing?
Fear of judgment
Fear of judgment is shared by so many people. You’re not alone. The thing is, we live in a generation where judging others seem ordinary. Like it’s the new normal. And because of this, many people choose to not tell their story because of their fear of being judged.
We get it… it’s uncomfortable to admit your struggles and failures much less talk about them. But how would you grow, then? How do you present a brand story and grow your business if you’ll let this fear take control?
Not knowing how
The not knowing is another thing we want to highlight. Believe it or not, many people want to tell their stories but choose not to because they don’t know how. Here's the thing: there is no right or wrong way to tell your story. It is yours and yours to tell. Writing it down and thinking about what you know now that would have helped you before is a great starting point.
And you can share it however you want. In fact, in our life coach training, we teach our students how to share their story and show the kind of impact it can have. We support each other through this process and we encourage folks to do things that are new to them to show them how moving past the fear of not knowing can make massive changes. Especially personally. So even if you don’t know how to tell your story, tell it anyway. Start however you want. You will gain confidence faster than you think, and the words will come easier as time goes on.
Lack of courage
Lack of courage is another reason why people shy away from sharing stories. As a coach, it’s totally normal to lack courage in telling your story. It’s vital for your business and as an entrepreneur, that fact adds to the pressure. However, lack of courage is also something we all deal with. Courage is a muscle that can be built. You start small, sharing pieces and work up to speaking about it more fully.
If you’ve been wondering how do you present a brand story, instead of over-researching, just do it and tweak things along the way. Action is the only thing that can help us get past through the lack of courage. After all, courage is gained by repetition, and by doing something that scares the sh*t out of us in a good way. So go share that story. Bit by bit. Do it at your own pace and next thing you’ll know, storytelling has become easier than ever before.
Why Does Your Story Matter, Anyway?
This is probably one of the most common questions related to storytelling. Even though many businesses already do it, many are still confused about why personal stories matter. Many still ask what is a brand narrative and why should we pay attention to it?
Well, your story matters because it is where your business is rooted, it's how clients will find you and connect deeply with the experiences you've lived through. If you've been through a divorce and are a divorce recovery coach, you can connect with clients over going through those life experiences.
And while telling your story is a method to reconnect with yourself, making it a personal journey, it also plays an important role in building your business. Because you want to build your business on solid ground. Life coaching is a deeply-rooted venture and if it’s something you’re truly passionate about, you should also understand the value of storytelling.
Ready to learn how to reconnect with yourself through storytelling? If you're ready to learn more about how to become a life coach, take a look at The Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive. Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.